Ironman 70.3 Austin - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Austin, Texas
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
44F / 7C
Total Time = 6h 05m 35s
Overall Rank = 864/1962
Age Group = M 35-39
Age Group Rank = 135/272
Pre-race routine:

First Half Ironman, so I kept things very familiar. Woke up 4 hours before. Took a shower and got ready. Maple oatmeal and banana, chased by a yogurt and granola bars, along with water. Arrived PLENTY early to catch shuttle and have no rushed feelings. Even saw some excellent friends while staying warm before the start.
Event warmup:

No major warmup, rather than standing in the sun. I tend to fair very well in the swim, and use it as a warm up. Because I did not ever train with a wetsuit, the best part of the day was standing in the sun waiting to swim, and then finally wading into the water to actually get warm.
  • 38m 17s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 49s / 100 yards

Faired quite well by reminding myself to keep my own race in mind and not to take actions based on anyone else around me. Jostled a bit in the swim, but nothing major. Had a neighbor about 3/4 of the way through who would not leave my side and we kept slamming into one another. But it was OK, and breathing was not a problem. The worst part of the swim: someone accidentally grabbed my ankle chip and I had to stop, tread water, and attempt to secure it before moving on. Lost about 1 minute, but was worth it, as I could feel the chip sliding around my ankle. This is part of the sport.
What would you do differently?:

Very little. Stayed relaxed and on-plan with the swim. Will need to look at a wetsuit though.
Transition 1
  • 06m 8s

T1 is not my strong suit. For a 1st HIM, rather than rushing through T1 and missing something vital, I took cues from those around me and carefully transitioned. Went by my plan, and downed my pre-ride banana en route to the bike start.
What would you do differently?:

Practice, practice, practice. There is probably 2 minutes waiting for me here once I rehearse my T1.
  • 3h 16m 12s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.13 mile/hr

Again, kept working my plan, which was to conserve, conserve, conserve. At my first HIM, I did not want to burn out. I felt a few stretches around 20-30 miles where I cranked it up, but kept warning myself to not overspend the energy and burn out the legs. Steady...just get around the bike without making any big mistakes.

Also, kept eating and eating. Felt like I had my own buffet out there, but it worked. My last endurance triathlon found me out of gas, and I had to plan to repeat that misery.

Drank 4 bottles of liquid: 2 water and 2 Gatorade. That also worked, although that chattery surface left me badly in need of a bio break for the final 15 miles, but it was all good.
What would you do differently?:

My bike leaves plenty of room for improvement. Ready to spend some time on the road getting faster. But for this race, I successfully stuck to my plan.
Transition 2
  • 03m 19s

T2 was fairly strong. Again, I adhered to my plan of going slowly, and walked my bike the relatively short distance to the rack. Got myself changed, and swapped socks too, and headed out to run.
What would you do differently?:

T2 is better than T1. Felt good, and served as a quick break for the bike before the run.
  • 2h 01m 39s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 17s  min/mile

Took a gel at start, and then again starting Lap 3. I had planned for 3 gels, but the GU factory that was building in my stomach cautioned me against taking too much gel. I had the energy, and I did not want a GI issue. The cooler temps worked in my favor, and the primary crosswind made this reasonable. Loved running back to the swim course, which served as a reminder of the incredible distance I really did cover.
What would you do differently?:

Stuck to my plan, so not too much different. Might have tried to find another port-a-jon, as I had to wait about 2 minutes just for bio reasons. But then again, it was really necessary. If anything, I might have backed down slightly in Lap 1 to leave me just a little extra in Lap 2 and Lap 3.
Post race
Warm down:

Lots of walking and stretching. But mostly reveling in the arena with my friends and family with an EXTREMELY well-earned medal around my neck.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Overall, I felt 6 hours would be a TREMENDOUS day for me, and 6:30 was more realistic. 6:05 turned out fairly good. Cannot worry too much about faster performance, as my plan worked for me. I just need more bike time, and more experience.

Event comments:

Great race, with excellent organization and no hiccups whatsoever. Fantastic fan support and atmosphere both at the start, the transitions and the finish. Great shirt, visor and medal. And the run course actually encourages lots of fans to collect at Miles 1, 4, 9 and 13.

If you can deal with a chattery bike ride and a challenging hilly run, this is the place to feel like a true athlete, even in a first Half Ironman. But if it was easy, everyone would do it.

Last updated: 2012-09-12 12:00 AM
00:38:17 | 2112 yards | 01m 49s / 100yards
Age Group: 88/272
Overall: 617/1962
Performance: Good
Suit: Tri top and tri shorts
Course: Triangle swim, very reminiscent of my last half-iron swim. Although this one was not into the sun, which was welcome. I found this a little tricky to see and sight, as there was nothing on the horizon to work with. I stayed with the crowd, and kept looking for the next bouy as guidance.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 06:08
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:16:12 | 56 miles | 17.13 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/272
Overall: 0/1962
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: I like this course, although it is a little chattery. The hills arrive early on. The north wind made the difficulty portions in the first few miles, miles 10-15, and the very end. Not overly hilly, but enough hills to remain fair. Nice course, and I took several moments to remind myself how damn proud of myself I should be, working through the Texas farm country. Was very glad to be familiar with this course.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks:
Time: 03:19
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Bad
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike Bad
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
02:01:39 | 13.1 miles | 09m 17s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/272
Overall: 0/1962
Performance: Good
Lap 1: 40:12 / 9:20 pace Lap 2: 39:09 / 9:06 pace Lap 3: 42:18 / 9:24 pace
Course: Loved the principle of this course, although the elevation was challenging. Three out-and-back laps, so there was plenty of running company out there. It was a bit tricky to determine where I was in a relative sense, but I liked going back-and-forth over the same course. The elevation was VERY challenging, with virtually no flat spots on this course. However, I felt good, and knew I had strong legs immediately after jumping off the bike. I was surprised how many people I was passing along the run course. Laps 1 and 2 were OK, but Lap 3 was mind-over-body. I had to walk, at which point I almost cried. Just had to stay with it, including the draconian hill going in to the expo center grounds. When I hit the split to circle back out or head to the finish, I was SO excited to make that right turn, although that S-curve necessarily to take us into the arena seemed 24 miles long.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5